Australian Senator asks regulator to consider revoking Scientology’s registration

AN AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL regulator has been asked to consider revoking the Church of Scientology’s registration as a charity in the wake of a damning documentary about the religion.

The film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief , based on Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book, made shocking allegations about Scientology, including that members were threatened and tortured in prison-like camps, forced to endure hard labour and beaten in ‘The Hole’.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is concerned by allegations in the film and has asked the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to urgently review the church’s registration.

“These allegations included that the Church of Scientology … tortures its members, that it has stolen US Government documents and requires current members to cut all ties with friends and family members,’’ Senator Xenophon said in a letter to the charities commission.

He said he was deeply concerned about the harmful influence the global Church of Scientology could be having on its Australian branches.

Acting Charities and Not-for-profits commissioner David Locke confirmed that the commission had received Senator Xenophon’s letter and would respond directly to him.

The commission has revoked the registration of 10 charities since 2014.

In 2009, Senator Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to reveal allegations from former members that the Church of Scientology had engaged in forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, physical violence and blackmail.

Prominent Scientologist and Hollywood actor John Travolta has rejected claims in the American documentary that he was being held captive by the church which holds a “dirt file’’ on him.

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41 thoughts on “Australian Senator asks regulator to consider revoking Scientology’s registration

  1. Senator Xenophon finds himself in the same situation that Israel found itself on the border of Canaan at the time of Joshua and the judges. Both cases involve destruction of religious cults where human rights abuse was endemic.

    Both Xenophon and God will be accused by atheists, greens and other god-haters as being religious bigots, intolerant of other religions, in spite of the fact that they waged war against religious expressions where human rights abuse was part of those religious expressions.

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    • I wonder if you might overestimate the sympathy toward scientology. There will always be those with extreme opinions who will point fingers at anyone for any little thing, but when a group has inhumane practices and are not transparent about what they’re all about, they likely shouldn’t receive such perks.

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  2. We have to be careful to separate their beliefs from their actions, and condemn their actions. Their beliefs in my opinion are a concoction by H.Ron Hubbard, the science fantasy author, out to line his own nest, after learning how to manipulate people.

    Nevertheless, we must retain the freedom to believe what seems right to us. It’s when we act on those beliefs to the detriment of others that we need to be pulled into line.

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    • “Nevertheless, we must retain the freedom to believe what seems right to us”

      Would that include the likes of NAMBLA ?

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      • But if as an atheist, you believe that truth is relative, why shouldn’t organisations like NAMBLA be legitimate? If you believe that there is no such thing as absolute truths, then why shouldn’t things like NAMBLA be legitimate?

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      • “But if as an atheist, you believe that truth is relative, why shouldn’t organisations like NAMBLA be legitimate? If you believe that there is no such thing as absolute truths, then why shouldn’t things like NAMBLA be legitimate?”

        The fallacy in this case is to conflate atheism with ethics. The only thing atheism has to do with ethics is a rejection of the divine command schools of ethics based purely on the lack of evidence for the divine.

        Objections to organisations like the one above can be made using an objective and rational ethical system like utilitarianism (as an example).

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      • By spreading their beliefs, in my opinion NAMBLA is doing some-thing which should be as unlawful as following through on those beliefs. As sinners we may think outside the boundaries, but it’s the following through, both the sexual behaviour and the promotion of it, that is abhorrent.

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      • Hey Davinci,

        I reckon my croissants from the patisserie were burnt this morning, definitely not their usual standard.

        And I’m happy making that judgement secure in the knowledge that there is no absolute croissant . We make relative judgements all the time without any absolutes.

        Why should NAMBLA be any different??

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      • “… then why shouldn’t things like NAMBLA be legitimate?”

        Because what they are doing is wrong. You do get that right??

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      • Homosexuals to marry and adopt children was considered immoral in my life time. Now our supposed role models are leading the way.

        NAMBLA will get their way in time. Just need to wait for the standards of morality to drop to their level. That was a bit blunt wasn’t it. Should have said society just need time for the public to become aware they are discriminating against people who love children and was born that way.

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      • Back to the Future: Thank you for an excellent demonstration of the Slippery Slope Fallacy. Or perhaps it doesn’t apply because you’re ready with a rational argument to support your claims that same sex marriage and adoption is the result of a “drop in the standards of morality?”

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      • To Stu:

        “Objections to organisations like the one above can be made using an objective and rational ethical system like utilitarianism (as an example).”

        You should be aware that the Catholic Church uses utilitarianism as an excuse to move paedophile priests from one parish to another without any real repercussions for their actions.

        Hence your argument about utilitarianism is actually a good vehicle for allowing NAMBLA to become legitimate.

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      • To Bubba Ray

        You confuse standards of Taste and Sight (which are not necessarily good or evil) with morality (which involves good and evil). These are different and should not be confused.

        The consequences of your argument about burnt/unburnt croissants (which is a judgment on the standard of Taste, Smell and Sight) is that NAMBLA and all that it stands for, would be justified on the grounds that:
        – Some people like young ass, some people like old ass, and Bryan likes ass music.

        It is therefore a matter of taste what sort of ass people like. Hence NAMBLA is justified on the grounds of taste.

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      • To Stu

        “The fallacy in this case is to conflate atheism with ethics.”

        That’s the problem Stu. I conflate atheist with a lack of ethics. As your comments about utilitarianism demonstrate, and as Bubba Ray’s comments about croissants demonstrate.

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      • Hey davinci,

        That’s it, that’s the best you’ve got – a matter of taste? You really do live in a very sad, weird world.

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      • I don’t buy the slippery slope fallacy when it comes to morality and how low things can get. The inventor of the bikini could only find prostitutes that would model them. There are now legal animal brothels in Germany and Denmark and their popularity is rising. The world is sliding in morality.

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      • Concerning croissants; your environment determines what you think of the croissant. If you are starving in the slums of New Mexico you would find any croissant you come across to be excellent, while in uptown New York, they would be a lot more strict in their judgement.

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      • Hey Dom,

        Are you serious? You’re going to pick one example of something disturbing from 2 countries and extrapolate it across the history of the entire world.

        It’s a pretty cold morning where I woke up this morning too – I reckon climate change must have stopped.

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      • And Dom if you are going to just pick tiny examples of morality – doesn’t the example of improving morality – the bikini – counter your later example of the animal brothel.

        Why give us one example of improving morality and one of declining ?

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      • If the internet had been around many years earlier we might have read comments like:

        “Women voting was considered immoral in my life time. ”

        or

        “Treating Aboriginals as equal citizens was considered immoral in my life time.

        Maybe morality also runs up that slippery slope ?

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      • Dom: “Sorry I was talking about sexual morality. The “”if it feels good then do it”.”

        How about “If it’s between consenting adults, in private, it’s none of my business”?

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      • Hey Dom,

        I would think that women having more freedom to wear what they want is a sign of improving morality.

        AS to France and adultery what do you mean now? Ever read any Dumas?

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      • Hi Dom: “I think it is none of my business as well. But it is not just about consenting adults now. We are talking about adoption of children.”

        I was sure we were talking about sexual ethics (you brought up adultery and “if it feels good then do it”) and I don’t know (a) what that has to do with adoption (b) why you posted an article that was about divorce and not adoption.

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      • “Sorry which article is about divorce?”

        I should have said separation, but the point stands. The link to the article you posted from the Advocate is a not about same sex couples adopting. It is about a daughter whose mother who separated from her father and re-partnered with a woman. Adoption is not mentioned anywhere in the article.

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      • Hey Dom,

        Man o man you do love those one-off examples. I guess every Muslim must be a terrorist right ??

        How about something a little more in depth.
        From “The Legal Regulation of Marriage”
        By THE HON ALASTAIR NICHOLSON AO RFD
        (freely available if you google it)

        In a paper delivered to the Third National Conference of the Family Court of
        Australia, held in 2001, Jenni Millbank pointed to wide-ranging studies in both
        the United Kingdom and the United States over 20 years that had found:
        Specifically, the children showed:
        • no difference in terms of gender role or gender identity (and Patterson
        notes that in the more than 300 children studied there was absolutely no
        evidence of gender identity disorder),
        • no difference in psychiatric state,
        • no differences in levels of self esteem,
        • no differences in quality of friendships, popularity, sociability or social
        acceptance.

        ———————————-

        But hey, lets set aside 20 plus years of research because you’ve found one example of a woman unhappy that her parents separated when she was young.

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    • To Bubba Ray

      “… then why shouldn’t things like NAMBLA be legitimate?”

      Because what they are doing is wrong. You do get that right??

      The question is not by what standards I get that NAMBLA is wrong. The question is by what standard DO YOU as an atheist “get it” that it is wrong. You have insinuated taste/sight/smell in your posting about croissants as the basis of whether something is right or wrong. Whilst Stu has mentioned utilitarianism.
      Which are highly unreliable.

      You ask me whether I get that what NAMBLA is doing is wrong… So I answer “SEZ WHO?”

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      • davinci: “You should be aware that the Catholic Church uses utilitarianism as an excuse to move paedophile priests…” Care to provide some details?

        “I conflate atheist with a lack of ethics.” That’s because you don’t understand athiesm or logic.

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      • “SEZ WHO?”

        – Me for a start and I reckon there’s a whole lot of othe people.

        How about you – you do understand that it’s wrong right ?

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      • Bubba Ray, is there something wrong with your sight?

        I know exactly by what standard I deem NAMBLA wrong.

        By what standard do you and the mob deem it wrong? Answer the question. And remember that the Spartans, Greeks and Romans would not have viewed it as being wrong. Neither did the Chinese, Japanese and other ancient cultures.

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      • “By what standard do you and the mob deem it (paedephilia) wrong?”

        Because children are not mature enough to make conscious sexual decisions, therefore adults should be precluded for making those decisions for them.

        “And remember that the Spartans, Greeks and Romans would not have viewed it as being wrong. Neither did the Chinese, Japanese and other ancient cultures.”

        Please provide evidence that paedephilia was in mainstream acceptance in the cultures and societies you mention (in the context of marriage ages in the OT). And while you’re there, provide your evidence that the Catholic Church based the movement of paedophile priests on utilitarian ethics.

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      • To Stu

        So you want examples of paedophilia in ancient cultures do you? Perhaps you should open your eyes and do a google search on the subject. But even then you will not accept the evidence; coming from a GLBT supporting background, you will change the definition of the word and thus deny the evidence that paedophilia actually existed.

        I am not sure where you’re going with the Old Testament reference, because the Old Testament does not support under-age marriage. You would have to present texts to prove your point, before I discuss the issue of Old testament marriage age.

        ” And while you’re there, provide your evidence that the Catholic Church based the movement of paedophile priests on utilitarian ethics.”

        Can you be really so blind? Is your name “Stu” or “Stupid”?

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      • Davinci “To Stu….”

        So the answer is no (you don’t have any evidence for your claims) and to make a personal attack.

        And no, I didn’t ask for “examples of paedephilia in ancient cultures” nor did I say the “OT supports underage marriage”. Perhaps read what I asked for next time, thereby demonstrating basic comphrehension skills, and then question my intelligence.

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      • Dear Stu,
        First you write:
        “Please provide evidence that paedephilia was in mainstream acceptance in the cultures and societies you mention (in the context of marriage ages in the OT).”

        Then you write:
        “And no, I didn’t ask for “examples of paedephilia in ancient cultures”

        Examples are evidence in this case. Because these offensive practices were known to occur, yet a whole segment of society knew who the perpetrators were and did nothing to stop them. Evidence shows that those who knew who the perpetrators were, didn’t even express outrage at the practices. Or even assassinate the perpetrators for this sort of crime.

        Example: Tiberius was an infant molester. Evidence, he was never assassinated for infant molesting, nor were those who assassinated him outraged at his behaviour. Even the general population did not rise up in outrage against this practice by their emperor although they had risen against their rulers on numerous previous and subsequent occasions.

        Example: Spartans were homosexuals/bisexuals who expressed their behaviour through man child molesting (aka NAMBLA). Evidence of acceptance, the rest of the Greek City States never staged wars against the Spartans on grounds of child molesting, nor were the rest of the Greeks outraged at the practice. Thus you have acceptance in the mainstream culture of the practice.

        You want evidence? Sometimes evidence is found in what people are not saying, or doing (thus becoming complicit in the perpetrator’s actions).

        But you are too Stu to understand or appreciate this fact. You are too Stu to understand that for evil to triumph, you only need good men to do nothing.

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      • Hey Davinci,

        Yep moral standards change over time. Let’s face it God knocking Mary up would be wrong by the standards of the western world today.

        Congratulations on the discovery, I hope you don’t think that you’re the first to notice though.

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      • Dear davinci.

        So, still no evidence that paedephilia was accepted in the mainstream of the cultures you mentioned. Still no evidence that the Catholic Church used utilitarian ethics to justify decisions to relocate alleged paedophile priests. Still no response to the provision of a rational ethical reason to oppose paedephilia.

        Individual examples are NOT evidence of universal or mainstream acceptance. To suggest that objections to sexual ethics would have been motivation in of itself for Athens to invade Sparta is naïve to the extreme. Likewise with any motivation for the possible assassination of an emperor.

        This probably explains why you aren’t leading an invasion of a society or plotting an assassination of an individual whose ethics offend you.

        Regards

        Too Stu

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  3. To Too stu

    “Individual examples are NOT evidence of universal or mainstream acceptance. To suggest that objections to sexual ethics would have been motivation in of itself for Athens to invade Sparta is naïve to the extreme. Likewise with any motivation for the possible assassination of an emperor.”

    Except you and your kind do the same thing that you are accusing me of when you say that Australian society would accept SSM legalisation – only because you interpolate the view of the minority upon the majority. In my case I don’t project the view of a minority onto a majority. You do.

    Like

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